As businesses are relying more and more on data for their day-to-day operations, the question of where they should store it continues to evolve. While cloud computing was once a cheaper and more efficient way for businesses to operate, it is no longer able to support the exponential increase in data that’s being generated.
Indeed, many organizations that utilize the cloud experience high latency and bandwidth issues that can substantially impact regular operations — not to mention a reported increase in “cloud waste.”
As a result, many businesses are exploring alternatives to their cloud computing needs. Micro data centers in particular are generating a high level of interest due to their ability to support edge applications that require the real-time processing of vast amounts of data, such as those in Industry 4.0, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT).
Part of the benefit of these scaled-down data centers is that they can be deployed essentially anywhere — from a remote site off the beaten path to underutilized office space. With that in mind, here are 5 ways that micro data centers can benefit a wide range of businesses:
1. Greater Flexibility
Micro data centers can be beneficial for any organization that is short on time, space, or resources. For instance, small to midsize businesses can use micro data centers to support their onsite applications and services without having to rely on an extensive IT staff. Furthermore, micro data centers can be integrated into an organization’s overall cloud computing operation. For instance, they can handle compute for localized data from devices, sensors and customers without shuttling it back and forth from the cloud.
2. Rapid Deployment
Micro data centers can also be deployed at greater speeds than large-scale traditional data centers. In fact, many micro data centers deployed in an office setting only require one “locker” — compared to hundreds of racks found in vast server farms. And because of their modular design, microdata centers can be installed anywhere that high-speed connectivity is available. Simply put: organizations can implement micro data centers rapidly to meet changing demands, while avoiding expensive infrastructure changes or data center build-outs.
3. Greater Scalability
Among the many benefits of micro data centers is greater scalability compared to traditional data centers. They offer the ability to scale up or down as needed, and can more easily accommodate growth as the need for more computing power arises. For instance, they can easily adjust all kinds of equipment to facilitate future upgrades and even re-architecture of the environment.
4. Lower Operating Costs
Micro data centers reduce operating costs and are more cost-effective in general, given that they are prefabricated and much smaller than traditional data centers. One report noted that micro data centers can yield a cost reduction of 50 percent over a traditional data center under ideal circumstances. Part of this savings comes from a micro data center’s ability to tap into an existing facility’s electrical power to operate its equipment.
4. Reduced Latency
Micro data centers also address the latency problems caused by centralized, traditional data centers. In a traditional data center set up, data often has to travel long distances before it reaches its destination, which can lead to latency issues. By moving data processing and storage closer to the source of data generation, the amount of time it takes for data to travel is significantly reduced. This results in lowered latency and faster response times, ultimately boosting network performance.
The Bottom Line
In today’s hyper digital world, businesses across industries and of all sizes are increasingly relying on data centers to store, manage, and process an influx of information. Micro data centers can help organizations do this more effectively, offering greater flexibility and scalability than traditional data centers. With reduced latency and lower operating costs, micro data can improve network performance, helping businesses stay competitive in an evolving technology landscape.
As one research report notes, “Large and small enterprises have realized that the single-cabinet micro data center with high reliability and availability is the future trend from the perspective of current short-term investments and future long-term operating costs.”